Creating an Urban Homestead

Posts tagged “death

Life is But a Dream—or Maybe Just a Big Bowl of Soup

Nothing like the holidays to bring back memories of holidays past. Former lives within this life haunt me—so many moments and people that are now gone forever. They are real in my mind but elusive as a dream.

Life is so much more fluid than I ever knew. My mind keeps bumping into the people of the past as I cherish time spent with people of the present.

“Their souls are in the halls of my mind,” says Flash of his dearly departed. I know what he means. (more…)


Things I Never Thought I’d Hear My Five Year Old Say

Hearing his dad’s music on the ipod seemed to open up the topic of death for Avery. Here a few of Avery’s thoughts on the subject:

• “I have a hard time when you aren’t with me. When I stayed at Jaren’s house, I was so scared that you would die and I would come home and we would have to bury you.” (more…)


Spirit phones and homegrown tomatoes

Sometimes malaise sneaks up on me, and other times it follows a more predictable path. As cliché as it might sound, today’s bout of blues definitely seems related to the fast-approaching 2nd anniversary of Mike’s death (Sept 13).

I’ve found no good way defend myself against the pain. It comes uninvited.

I am haunted by a past that is gone and a future that no longer exists. It began in the relative quiet of Labor Day after Flash, CC, and her kitten Casey departed from The Okey Dokey Ranch after spending a raucous and rainy but fun Saturday and Sunday here.

This afternoon, Marley went to Tannehill State Park with her friend Bella, which left me alone with Avery. The boy has been quite wild all weekend—a draining surprise after he acted disarmingly docile and charming Friday afternoon after school. By Monday afternoon I was, shall we say, finding it difficult to appreciate Avery being anywhere near me. I really just wanted to be alone with my thoughts. (more…)


Down under The Okey Dokey Ranch

If you want to fail miserably, try raising two children by yourself. It doesn’t take long to realize that no one is capable of succeeding at this endeavor. I somehow allow myself to forget this from time to time. Indeed, it’s probably how I remain sane.

But reality always returns, and it stings. Rediscovering life as a single parent is a trying and lonely affair–especially after a travel-induced period of giddy denial filled with grandparents and cousins who gladly watch your children while you chum with old friends.

But now we are home and it is back to reality again. Manning The Okey Dokey Ranch with the help of only a seven year old (no matter how precocious) and a five year old can get downright depressing in short order.

Although Marley started school two days after our return from Minnesota, Avery did not. So I had to bring him on all of my home renovating errands–a major drag for both of us.

Combine that with absolutely no freedom to exercise or adults to talk to and, voila! You have the perfect ingredients for a mental breakdown. I spend most of a sunny Saturday in bed crying.

But miraculously, Sunday was a glorious day, despite heavy rains.

Marley and I made a batch of muscadine jelly. I made a chicken dinner. And Flash stayed overnight, tipping the household vibe into positive territory.

The boys joust in the man cave.

The boys joust in the man cave.

He set up a “painting zone” in the basement, now under heavy construction (click here to see the vid of Flash doing his thing), which will eventually house his personal space and occasionally his daughter CC and along with them our newly-formed household.

The fabled blended family.

Anyway, Flash thought it would be fun for the kids to paint the floors and walls before he completed the rooms. So fun that he joined them. He started painting words on the walls and saying that he was “channeling,” which made me flash back to a time nearly two years ago when me, my mother and my dear friend Suzanne Kilpatrick painted similar words on the walls of the basement following Mike’s accidental death in the man-cave.

Suzanne felt that writing positive, loving words on the walls would help cleanse the space and help us heal. We did this, and about a month later, I knocked down the walls on which we wrote and painted the remaining walls blue. Suzanne also said she saw the corner of the basement eventually becoming the creative hub of the house.

I distinctly remember thinking “never.”

But now it is becoming just that. And somehow, Flash just knew it. So, on that rainy day, I joined him and the kids and painted a bit, too. And finally, things felt like a nice Sunday at home with my family.

Thanks, Flash. I love you more than you could know.

Marley paints the subfloorMarley paints the subfloor
Avery paints Flash's pants while Flash paints the basement wall.

Avery paints Flash's pants while Flash paints the basement wall.


The Missing Goodbye

I have a recurring dream, although I am not sure if it really is a dream. It happens in that space just between consciousness and deep sleep and happens most frequently during afternoon naps, but sometimes as I fall asleep at night.

I’ve come to think of this space as my time with Mike, or perhaps something else altogether. It feels as though some energy, some force is working on my heart. As I try to describe this “heart work,” it seems less and less real. A mirage.

All I know is that it has felt healing at times. But this time, the message was different. Loud and clear. “But you didn’t even get to say goodbye.” Again and again. (more…)


Deathoughts

Five years ago, a young couple—friends of friends–died in a freak car accident while traveling to their 4th of July vacation spot in Asheville, NC.

Their three-year-old son lived. I remember being blood-curdlingly horrified by the story.

The woman had once been a teacher at The Redmont School, where Marley was attending preschool. That was the extent of our connection–two degrees of separation.

I worried for their son, bargained with fate to undo what had been done, obsessed about the unfairness of it all.

And finally, I spent several hours in bed, paralyzed with fear about what could befall my own children, seriously considering never taking my family out into the world in order to protect them. Then I realized that even at home, an airplane could fall from the sky and hit our house, or a meteorite could pulverize us anywhere on earth. The realization that I am not in control hit me hard that weekend. (more…)


Bio

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As recently as 2005, I was a gainfully-employed photojournalist making top-scale union wages, living with my husband Michael Prichard, 2 children, one dog, one cat, and several gardens in a 1950’s -era ranch house in Birmingham, Alabama.

We were vegetarian, but ate like royalty; Mike was a genius in the kitchen–ask anyone who ever dined with us.

Then I got laid off and started two businesses with Mike.

In 2007, we were on course to make more money doing media work and renovating houses than we ever did working for the man. Things were looking pretty peachy.

Then Mike electrocuted himself in the grow room (yes THAT kind of grow room), and I was thrust into the world of single parenthood in the blink of an eye. (more…)


The Honeymoon is Over

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Single momdom has hit me square between the eyes today.

Kids home from NM.

Flash has flown the coop, after more or less living at The Okey Dokey for a month while the kids were with my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Yet he came by with hugs and kisses as he retrieved his drum (playing with Gene and Zack tonight), his Bluetooth charger, his blue shortie bath towel that he Velcros around his sexy hips when he’s feeling modest. Or chilly.

Guess he’s out of here for a while. Shit. (more…)


Tear-filled goodbyes and a difficult introduction

Back to reality. Whatever that is. Kids are home from their month long trip to New Mexico. They stayed with Mike’s mom Dinny and her husband Frank in Las Cruces. From all accounts, the trip went swimmingly well for everyone.

Dinny brought them back yesterday and flew out of Birmingham today. About an hour before she left, Avery asked if he could go back to NM with her. “Just for a day.” And then he asked why she couldn’t stay here longer. Oh God, I knew what was coming. A big burst of tears after he said goodbye to her at the airport. Absolute sobbing. And I thought to myself, “I don’t remember him crying like this after his dad died.” Of course, he was three then and surely didn’t know the ramifications of what had happened to his dad.

“We’re not going to see grandma for a long time,” he said in the car. (more…)


Marley lost her first tooth tonight

Another first–a non-holiday milestone that Mike has missed. One of those things that I know he would have loved to celebrate with her. And maybe he is. It’s just not that apparent to me.

Marley is soooo excited. When this happened, I of course was happy for Marley, but my mind also immediately went to “well, here’s another thing that Mike will never get to enjoy.”

(more…)


Space Cleansing

It’s been an intense weekend. Many social events, and also a more private happening. A cleansing of the “trauma energy” in the space in my basement where Mike died. (more…)


Can't stop crying

Why this morning?

Is it because I’m going to close on a house by myself today (we bought nine houses together)?

Because it is All Souls Day and the wall between the worlds is at its thinnest (and why can’t I feel you, Mike?) (more…)


Shattered trust

I’ve always had this fear that something would happen to my children. I have often thought about how devastating it would be if one of them were killed. Same with my parents/other relatives/friends.
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Heading for the breakdown

Today, I took my first still photo gig since Mike died. It wasn’t much. Drive to a desolate mobile home near Guntersville, meet the wife of a man on death row (she met and married him 15 years AFTER he was convicted), take a photo of a photo of the happy couple during a prison visit and head back to B’ham. (more…)


Just say no

I hate waking up in the morning as the soft sunlight filters through my newly-installed windows onto the brand new crown moulding in my freshly-painted bedroom (all of which Mike enjoyed for less than one week). (more…)


Do you know how to save or record cell phone ringtones/messages?

Does anyone know how to record messages left on a cell phone? I’ve got at least one message from Mike ( a really pedestrian one, but his voice nonetheless) that I’d like to save and maybe burn to a disc. Any advice is appreciated.


Grief comes out in unexpected ways

This morning Marley was cutting out and painting crowns for Avery and his friend Forrest. She used some sparkly paper that Mike had given her, which he had acquired on some production job or another.

(more…)


Mike Eulogy by Allen Rosen

As a long time friend and co-worker, Mike will be missed – not only for his professionalism but for his passion for life. (more…)


Tribute to Mike/Art opening/Fundraiser @ Rojo

I heard rumblings about this event and have finally confirmed that Rojo has donated a party room for an art opening on October 11. If you have more detailed/other info, please post in comments. This is what I received via e-mail. Thanks everyone.

-Chris

Just following up on the tribute/fundraiser for Mike P. Some folks had questions so here’s the best FAQ I could put together: (more…)


Avery and Marley

Many folks have asked how the kids are doing. Amazingly, they seem ok much of the time. But then, I suppose if you saw me all day, you might think I was ok, too. (more…)


Good Morning

One reason I set up this blog was to creatively deal with insomnia. So, here I am, trying to plod my way through a whole new way of communicating. This site will surely evolve over time and I’m open to suggestions about how to make it easier for you to use. (more…)


Hello and thank you everyone

It’s Sunday noon and I’ve taken my first plunge into the bloggosphere. Not sure whether this is going to be an ideal format, but will check it out. Quite frankly, until last week, I wondered what all these people were doing on blogs anyway. Today, I see this as a tool with which to communicate and send back a small measure of the love that has been sent our way since Mike’s death. (more…)